The power of one form of art over another fascinates me. Many art forms — visual arts, literary arts, music — carry the influence of those that came before and it’s always exciting for me to discover the little pieces of one artist informing another.
For this exhibition, I invited a few visual artists and poets with whom I have worked in the hopes that their art would inspire one another to create. The artists and poets were given the opportunity to submit existing art and poetry. The art was sent to poets and poetry sent to the artists who were give the opportunity to select poems or pieces of art that spoke to them from the submitted work. Participants were then asked to create a new piece of art—be it a visual art piece or poem—based on the original inspiration. All of the artists and poets that are participating in Art & Words rely heavily on visuals and I knew that pairing their art form with another would be successful. I wasn’t disappointed. Art & Words holds something for everyone in both visual and written forms.
I wish to personally thank the those that came together to make Art & Words one of my favorite exhibitions, and to those artists who brought my own poetry to life and to another level. I have been told by many artists and poets that they were challenged and that the project was a great creative reward. Please view the exhibition and spend some time looking deep into both the poetry and artwork to see the connections made between the artists and poets. Hopefully you too will discover your own connections.
Robert P. Langdon, Curator
© Cheryl Lickona “Final Goddess” Digital collage 15.25” x 9.75”
inspired the poem "Final Goddess" by Michelle DeCicco
Every living organism has a soul, and a purpose in the circle of life.
from the smallest forest, to the deepest jungle she exists, newly created by the ancient ones, she grows from the ferns and earth a final chance for us humans,
to replenish and care
she thrives from hope, for change balance, for giving and receiving from seed to sapling, she, you, and i won’t survive without a greener Earth.
— © Michelle DeCicco
© Cheryl Lickona “Eva's Angel” Digital collage 15.25” x 9.75”
inspired the poem "Eva's Angel" by Michelle DeCicco
Shhhhh... night merges with day what is fantasy, might be true his stone to her skin converge with reality Shhhh... lucid dreams revolt reality crumbles as we embrace it precious face notices touch hardens the soul Shhh... confuse the controlling dreamer twisted understandings cherub sight deceives others secrets of the present converge Shh... day breaks the night future to past souls she feels all with vanishing eyes secrets yearning to control secrets aching
— © Michelle DeCicco
© Theresa Landi Daniel “Fruehling (Little Early Thing)” Handmade paper and mixed media 6.5” x 6”
Inspired by the poem "Fruehling" by Theresa Landi Daniel
FRUEHLING (LITTLE EARLY SPRING)
First clue, color cue, watery blue. Greying sky; sprouts shy. Spatter-drops for pale buds Robin hops on soft mud. Worm squirm; worm gone. Showers off and on.
Amber flaking dust, browning, turns to rust that must but just cannot repel the rain. Sun low
Day breaks. First spark starts slow, sparse and quiet.
Then green bursts to yellow, and violet riot.
— © Theresa Landi Daniel
© Ana C. H. Silva
Watercolor, paper, eye accent, ballpoint, pencil on panel
8” x 10”
inspired by the poem "An Antique" by Michelle DeCicco
my thoughts travel to you even in my dreams black and silver numbered and lettered high and elegant a shell of an antique but complete without a scratch your voice a delightful echo from the past reminds me of the greats that spent hours with you rhythmically touching your parts
— © Michelle DeCicco
© Andrea Geller
Oil on canvas
8” x 8”
inspired by the poem "Dent" by Ana Silva
The only thing of mine in that house was the dent. I threw a green stone egg at my bedroom wall. The egg made an oval in the sheetrock. I watched shadows dip into its curve at night.
I threw a green stone egg at my bedroom wall. I was allowed to have an egg collection. I watched shadows dip into its curve at night. Wood, agate, onyx, volcanic glass, even a geode.
I was allowed to have an egg collection. The beauty that something inside will someday come out. Wood, agate, onyx, volcanic glass, even a geode. Some nights I put a pillow on the floor and watched the moon.
The beauty that something inside will someday come out. I watched shadows dip into its curve at night. Some nights I put a pillow on the floor and watched the moon. The only thing of mine in that house was the dent.
— © Ana C. H. Silva
© Joanne Pagano Weber
“Cycles of Change”
Acrylic on canvas
16” x 12”
inspired by the poem "Cycles of Change" by Debra Offner-Friedkin
CYCLES OF CHANGE
We rallied round an evening barbecue like a prehistoric tribe partaking of the hunt spoils; post Fourth of July, the dog on his outdoor run barked at errant firecrackers.
We splintered into subgroups aware that relatives cannot be chosen; smoldering coal smoke hastened the darkness so we lifted our voices to push back the night.
Sitting in webbed chairs we lit citronella candles and raised beer bottles to the stars; clouds above our heads danced across the full moon the wind below dispersed our conversations capriciously.
Funny how one has no sensation of the movement of time slipping forward; that moonlit night I saw my generation infiltrating my parents reign, while my children ripened.
— © Debra Friedkin
© jd weiss
“remembering the way home”
Medium format film archival pigment print on panel
18” x 18”
inspired by the poem "Marie" by Robert Langdon
I helped someone die today. Held Marie’s tired and bruised hand and talked her through letting go. I was honest — as I know she would want me to be — and relayed the final truth without a coat of sugar.
The truth that this time she wasn’t going to bounce back. That they wanted to cut her open again and clean the guts of this stubborn infection. That the tubes had to come out and she would forever breathe through a hole dug in her throat.
The truth that her cherished independence would be filched and she would be under someone’s care in a home of weakness, popsicle stick crafts and wafts of urine. With tears slipping down my face and falling onto her brittle hand I offered the dignity of choice and asked if this is what she wanted.
She looked at me through her cataract milky eyes. I knew she understood but she couldn’t respond because of the tubes feeding her air like a decorative aquarium chest. But Marie’s treasure was spent.
She moved her head from side to side like a pendulum. “No” she mouthed closing her eyes with final thoughts racing through her healthy mind She didn’t want this new quality of life. She didn’t want this fight.
She looked up at me while they injected morphine into the IV bag. The gaze lifted as her eyes rolled into her head like a junkie. They pulled the breathing tube from her mouth — unrolled like a tape measure — and switched off all of the machines except for one that monitored her beat.
Gurgles rose from her throat sounding like a child pushing air through a straw into a glass of milk. I held her hand tighter as she faded deeper into the task of giving in. “You will always be with me,” I repeated. “Tap me on the shoulder to let me know when you visit.”
She gazed at the ceiling mouthing words that only the dead could hear. She saw them reaching out to her—Ted, Manny, Duckie — and grasped their hands as they escorted her into death. One final blip on the screen and she left without dramatics. She simply closed her eyes and stopped living.
Later that evening the stress of the past month released like a slow leak in a birthday balloon. I sunk into the mattress like it were a cloud and dreamt of a younger Marie. Smiling like how I wanted to remember her. I felt a tap on the shoulder and smiled knowing it was her letting me know she was there. Just as I had asked.
— © Robert P. Langdon
© Diane Christi
16” x 12”
inspired by the poem "Monday" by Robert Langdon
Welcome the close of day with vodka and bitter tonic. Twist of lime. Leave the corporate world to sunlight rays as grooves of jelly jar pints circle my lips like hula-hoops.
Pool players knee deep in competition capture my attention. Stripes and solids bullet from side to side dueling on velvet green. Their boastful collisions blend with the rhythm trickling from the jukebox.
Stevie Nicks, the white winged dove, sings of addiction. Her liquored breath strips me of my three pieced mask and I ease into repose.
Worries of the day are easily forgotten. Clients snuggle down. Voice mail messages mount resigned to 9 to 5. Forgotten until alarm clock laughs 6 a.m.
Routine wraps me in Tuesday’s skin.
— © Robert P. Langdon
© Leah Brown Klein
17” x 21”
inspired the poem "it's complicated" by gwynneth green
is it really so rude
not to use
work so much better
in a pinch
was it to eat with sticks
why spend time
fighting with the food
when satisfying an appetite
is the point of feasting
with snow peas slipping through
that doesn’t adhere to
what would be
a whittled piece of wood
is this a cultural test
for those who didn’t grow up
with wands or rods
without a place setting
the ones who say
no elbows on the table
you’re not in a horses’ stable
who eats in a stable besides the animals
there should be no shame
in eating your own way
who has the final say
as to etiquette
are you done
spoke your piece
pick up the sticks
— © gwynneth green
© Josh Dorman
“Interior: Hedgehog Manager”
Mixed media collage on panel
30” x 24”
inspired the poem :The Collage Artist" by Robert Langdon
THE COLLAGE ARTIST
I’m pulling it together.
Combining the pieces in an arranged
marriage of mammals and birds.
Acrylic and cut pieces scrapped
from outdated medical texts, stained
auto guides and books of jokes that
stopped being funny.
Scissor snipped and clipped
seals and snails and diving swallows —
lost in a jumble of Indian ink and Library Paste
— arrange themselves into a dance.
My hands are lost in the cut and stroke.
The lines blur as I birth
a new collage.
— © Robert Langdon
© Ellen Martin
“Abandoned #185 (October 19, 2016)”
Ipod Touch digital photograph
20” x 15”
inspired the poem ransacked by gwynneth green
all that was left
bent and broken